People often ask me how I do it all and the truth is I had a strong example. I watched my mother work tirelessly to reach and get her goals whether it was a new car, a new home, an international trip, or saving money she would always set a goal and conquer it. I strive to be like her in many ways and I work just as hard. At times this has been difficult to manage because it can easily lead to burn out, but one of the things I think I do well now is incorporate time for self-care intentionally. The reality is I incorporate time for everything intentionally. At this point in my life there are so many things to juggle that if I don't intentionally make time for them they won't happen. So yes I schedule making dinner, working out, doing graduate school work,, date night, phone time with loved ones, and meditations. In 2019 doing it all means being able to keep up with it all and truth be told I can't, so I use some tools to help me.
So some of the things that I'm juggling right now are graduate school, running a full-time business, attending events for said business, working as an ad hoc board member for my community, and being a mother, daughter, friend and a wife. The easiest thing to do when you have a lot on your plate is to run and hide from it all and I've done that. I've literally retreated and ignored it all and for me it didn't work. I recognized that the things I was ignoring actually fulfilled me, I just had to be able to make space for them. So now I do and there's a lot less guilt about who I've let down, because I make time for them. I'm going to share a week of my schedule which is pretty embarrassing, because it's so detailed and I'm sure everyone will think I'm crazy but it's the way I run My Crazy Life.
My hope is not that you create some crazy schedule for your life but rather that you make time for what's important in it. If that means time blocking for you great do that I'll give you some tips in a moment, but for some of you it'll just mean being a little more intentional with your time and using it to do the things that you love that bring you joy. For me a big motivator is spending time with my son. You will notice that he wasn’t something I scheduled, and that’s because my schedule revolves around him first, so there’s no need to input him anywhere. I think that’s the biggest blessing entrepreneurship has afforded me, being able to create a life that prioritizes motherhood as a gift and skill.
Now for those of you that know you need serious help managing your time, because you want to reach your highest potential here are some tips:
1. Make a list of what you love to do:
Let it range from things you can do alone to things you can do with people Let it have some items that are cost-effective and those that you would consider a splurge. Include things that you can do in the house and things that you can do out on the town. This is going to be your bank of self care items and you can consult this list when needed. It helps to actually put it in your schedule on days that you know will be hard or days that will be extremely busy.
2. Take one Night a week for 1-hour and Schedule your Time:
You and your schedule need to become great friends. The goal is to look at the week ahead and figure out what things need to get on your calendar. Of course there's the recurring things like maybe taking the kids to school or driving to work, but then there's the extra things the things you want to make time for. Put all of those things on your calendar. We use the Google because it’s amazing & due to its technology throughout the week you'll get reminders on your phone of what you had the intention to do when you were clear-minded and relaxed. I usually do it on Sunday because it's a calmer day in my house. This helps because when that day comes, and maybe I'm not in the mood I remember what my intention was on Sunday, and I'm more likely to execute it.
3. When the Schedule says Do, Go!
This seems like the simplest part, right? Calendar says go to event at 7pm, but your in bed and it’s comfy and maybe you can just skip it. Or your at work and the Calendar says go observe a colleague, but you’d rather finish a project solo, see how it can get challenging? The hardest part in reality is executing the intentions you had when the world was quiet. Everything is all good on Sunday, but then Wednesday comes and you just ain’t got it. I jokingly use the Calendar like a shaming tool to remind me of the commitments I broke myself. When it reminds me for the 3rd time of what I was supposed to do, I can somehow find the will. So give time blocking a try for a week, and see how it works, I promise you this you're likely to be far more productive!
What a given week might look like. . .
So we decided to do something kinda scary. We decided to put something out into the world, The Circle Kit, our very first digital product. You may have seen it on social media, and thought oh cool, but for us this was huge. We plan to share the journey we’re on because we believe too many people in this world only show the highlight reel for the likes, but we want to be authentic with you guys in our walk on this "edupreneur" path. Shortly after Plywood Presents. I’d started doing a ton of research on launching a digital product and Kim seemed on board with this little experiment of mine, so we kept at it. It seemed relatively simple, once we laid out the steps. The hardest part would be the execution, and getting over the fear that comes with putting out a piece of work, to be seen. This was a hectic time to start a new project, because we were prepping to work with Milwaukee Excellence Charter School that month, closing a few other deals, taking potential client meetings, attending networking events, working, studying for grad school, mothering, and attending to day to day business tasks. Despite the tension with time we began working on the tool, making it pretty, editing it for typos, finding video, citing sources, yeah you get the point it was a lot.
Their great for the classroom, but can also be used anywhere young people are, parents that means you too. Even if you just ask the questions with your kids at home, you may be surprised by what you learn. Ultimately they’re tools to start engaging our young people more, and getting inside their minds to better support them!